thomas-dewar-quote-an-honest-confession-is-good-for-the-soul-but-bad-fOn my last post, I told you that it’s time for me to make some dietary changes to improve my thyroid function. Well, I could tell you that I’ve done pretty darn well in avoiding gluten and sugar and that would be totally true but it’s not being totally honest…..

I’m failing miserably with the coffee! I’ve been able to delay drinking coffee for the required one hour after taking my medication but I haven’t succeeded at avoiding it altogether. But I’m making progress!   I have reduced my coffee from the three to five cups I was drinking a day down to about two cups. It’s actually better than that because I’ve begun using regular coffee cups and not the Starbucks mugs I’ve used in the past….. And drinking decaf on rainy afternoons like today.

Still, there’s room for improvement….. LOTS of improvement.

Austin brought up something important the other day when we were talking about my caffeine addiction. He said that although three cups of coffee is not bad for most people it’s still an addiction. He went on to say that as a Christian, he refuses to be addicted to anything so he periodically fasts any substance that he feels he couldn’t live without.

And I think he’s right. I know that Paul was talking about sexual immorality in the scripture below but I think that we could connect that scripture to almost any area of our lives—- including caffeine, sugar, or a hot loaf of bread!

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV)

You say, “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but as far as I am concerned, I am not going to let anything gain control over me. 1 Corinthians 6:12  (Complete Jewish Bible)

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Yesterday I told you that I would do some research to determine what dietary changes that I would need to make for my thyroid to function at it’s best. Well, I emailed my doctor, went online, and downloaded a few books from Amazon on Thyroid Health and Diet.  I’ll summarize what I’ve learned so far:

Everyone agrees that I should remove all gluten from my diet. The molecular structure of gliadin, the protein portion of gluten, closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gliadin breaches the protective barrier of the gut, and enters the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gliadin also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. (Chris Kresser)

Stop drinking coffee. It has been proven that coffee slows the absorption of  thyroid medication. Now, as someone who deals with the fatigue that accompanies hypothyroidism, I usually drink 3 cups of coffee in the morning and then 2 more during mid-afternoon.

Eliminate all sugar. Sugar causes inflammation. Sugar is high calories with little to no nutritional value. Sugar slows metabolism.  For those, like me, who already have a slow metabolism we definitely don’t need to slow it down any further. Slow metabolism + high calories = weight gain.

Avoid alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the regulation of thyroid hormone levels as well as reducing the thyroid’s ability to produce T3 and T4 hormones.

Let’s me summarize with this quote:

It is advisable to eliminate alcohol, junk food, gluten, and sugar from your diet completely as these ingredients tend to interfere with healthy thyroid function. 

In other words, always eat clean. I cannot live my best life by simply limiting some of these foods as I’ve done in the past. It’s time for me to go from eating these foods occasionally,  or inn moderation, to absolutely eliminating them from my diet.

In the past, I’ve been sugar free. I’ve lived gluten free. Heck, I even gave up caffeine for lent one year. i seldom eat junk food. But I’ve never done it all at the same time!

I’d like to say that I’ll go cold turkey in the morning. But that would be lying to myself and to you. What I will do is start the process by going gluten, sugar, and alcohol free and reducing my coffee intake to no more than two cups in the morning. Then, I’ll work my way down to caffeine free by mid-October.

What are you willing to do to feel your absolute best?

I’ve been taking Armour which first used  in 1891,  to treat my thyroid for several years. Because it is  such an old drug, it has been more than affordable. Less than a year ago, I spent about $20 for a three month supply. Now, I’m paying the same amount for a one month supply.  I felt so guilt after spending $60 on thyroid medication last month that I apologized to Hank for spending so much money on myself.

Paying-for-Costly-Hepatitis-C-Treatment-722x406This is not the only medication to soar in price. According to the New York Times,  the cost of Daraprim, a 62 year old medication, was raised from $13.50 a pill to $750.00 this week. The Times stated, Although some price increases have been cause
d by shortages, others have resulted from a business strategy of buying old neglected drugs and turning them into high-priced “specialty drugs.”

Ecclesiastes 9:11 tells us that time and chance happen to us all. Because we are human beings living in a fallen world, we run the risk of developing a non-preventable disease such as cancer. We could incur medical expenses due to an accident. There are things that happen that are totally out of our control. But what about the disease we can control?

In order to be good stewards of our health and finances, it behooves us to begin living a lifestyle that prevents diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. And if you have moved beyond prevention to treatment of these diseases, then it may be time to consider making the lifestyle changes that would reduce or eradicate your need for medication.

I can’t help but wondering if as a result of  the lifestyle choices we make, are Christians investing more in the pharmaceutical industry than in the Kingdom of God? Is it possible that we are spending more money on medications for preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease than we are giving to those in need? And are we spending so much on the treatment of preventable diseases that we will be unable to leave our children, much less our grandchildren, an inheritance? (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

I want to be a good steward of all that God has given me. I want to take care of this body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, I want to invest in the kingdom of God and give generously to those around me, and I really want to leave a substantial inheritance to my grandchildren. And I’m willing to do the necessary work to be able to do all three!

What about you?

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A family tradition

My family has a perverted and warped tradition. For some twisted reason, if you carry on a negative behavior from any  relative, my family will begin calling you “Lil’ So-in-So.” (I think this is our version of “He’s just like ____________.” Without getting into specifics, and therefore not offending anyone in my family who may read this, I’m going to make up a scenario so that you’ll be able to understand just how this works. As far as I know, we do not have an active alcoholic in my family so I feel comfortable with this scenario….

Let’s pretend that I have a “Uncle Luigi” who is an alcoholic with a very nasty temper. Well, if a two year old in the family began throwing temper tantrums, the people in my family wold automatically start calling him “Lil’ Luigi.”  Now this name calling doesn’t end once the child has become an adult. Oh no! It’s worse than that because for the rest of his  life, he will be called “Lil’ Luigi.” And, truth be told, he’ll probably become more and more like “Uncle Luigi” until we can’t tell the two apart.

I’m not sure why this has become a family tradition. I think it might be a simple way of explaining how someone behaves without having to go into detail because everyone knows “Uncle Luigi.” Or maybe it’s a way of excusing the behavior. Like I said,  I’m not sure how it started or why it has been carried on for so long but I’m sure that it needs to end.

I know that each and every person has some “bad blood” running through their veins. Just like the color of our eyes or the texture of our hair that we inherited, we all have struggles with behaviors or habits that have been passed down to us. But when we call someone “Lil So-in-So” or we say that “he’s just like his _______,” we are reinforcing those behaviors instead of helping someone learn how to overcome them.

As a mother and a grandmother, I want to give my girls every opportunity to succeed  in life. I want them to know that they can overcome any obstacle that stands in their way. I don’t want them burdened with my insecurities or fear. If they are anything like me, I pray to God that it’s a better version than I will ever be and that they are not nor ever will be “Lil Sharons.”

What about you? Do you share a family tradition like ours? If so, how can you be a change agent in your family?

Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29  (Complete Jewish Bible)

Before you continue reading this post, please be aware that I am using foul language. I don’t want you to be offended but sometimes there are no other words that will describe exactly what you want to say but a good old fashioned cuss word.

That being said, I want to say that insecurity is a bitch.

Before you get offended you should know that  Google defines bitch as a spiteful or unpleasant woman with  synonyms like witch, shrew, she-devil, hellcat, or harpy. Webster defines it as a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman or something that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant.

I hate knowing that the word bitch is always used in association with women which is why I get so angry when I hear it used so casually in daily conversation, in the media, or when a woman calls other women the b-word.

But in this context, I’m not looking at the word as male or female but more as  the spirit known as insecurity that taunts and haunts me.

  • Insecurity whispers in my ear that I am not enough, I have never been enough, and I will never be enough.
  • Insecurity harasses me by telling me over and over that I’ll never measure up.
  • Insecurity grabs me by the hair of my head and forces me to see that hard work doesn’t always pay off.
  • Insecurity  convinces me that I’ll never succeed so why even try.
  • Insecurity chants that everyone else is better than me.
  • Insecurity calls me names.
  • Insecurity lies to me.

Insecurity comes from hell itself and does its best to force me to return to her home as her prisoner. Insecurity hates it when I face her lies with truth, when I choose life over death, and when I confess that I am a child of God made in His very own image. And, like the devil in the temptation of Christ, insecurity is driven away from me only until the next opportunity comes.

It seems as if there is no good news here. I drive her away with the word and she returns when the next opportunity comes. And the cycle could go on and on and on.

But what would happen if I never presented insecurity with the opportunity to harass me? What if I began to quote God’s word over myself on a daily basis or minute by minute when necessary? What if I began to take my thoughts captive and silenced insecurity’s chants with songs of praise?

I know it’s possible to defeat insecurity because she is just one of fears sisters. I just don’t always know how to tap into enough strength to win the battle.